144th Signal Squadron was bolstered with support from 8th Signal Regiment to provide the full scope of communications and information technology capabilities to 9th Brigade on Exercise Rhino Run at Cultana Training Area, SA.
CAPTION: Signaller Matthew Crawford, of 8th Signal Regiment, helps 144th Signal Squadron test its high-frequency capability during Exercise Rhino Run. Story by Captain Adrienne Goode. Photos by Captain Peter March.
Exercise Rhino Run was the culminating force generation event for 9th Brigade, involving part-time and full-time members from 1st Armoured Regiment; 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment; 10th/27th Battalion, the Royal South Australia Regiment; 9th Combat Service Support Battalion; and Headquarters 9th Brigade, as well as external support from 3rd Health Battalion.
Officer Commanding 144th Signal Squadron Major Erica Abend said the exercise was an invaluable opportunity for members from both signal units.
“Four members of 8th Signal Regiment were invited to join the squadron, increasing numbers to provide capability and achieve valuable training outcomes,” Major Abend said.
“Having these members supporting us enables a fantastic opportunity for collaboration, relationship-building, knowledge-sharing, and exposure to all call signs deployed on the exercise.
“Together we’re providing critical support to the brigade’s headquarters and direct command units, and having the additional support from 8th Signal Regiment means we can have an optimised shift cycle and a reinforced team delivering capability during the exercise.”
CAPTION: Corporal Nathaniel Sutton, of 144th Signal Squadron, tests high-frequency capability during Exercise Rhino Run.
Corporal Nathaniel Sutton, of 144th Signal Squadron, said the extra bandwidth enabled the team to maximise new opportunities.
“A highlight of this exercise for me has been supporting the 1st Armoured Regiment, providing them with their crypto and mission plans, and getting up close with the tanks,” Corporal Sutton said.
“Having that extra support has allowed us to conduct more tasks down range and allocate more personnel to different areas of the exercise.
“Members on the team have varied levels of experience, and it’s been great to see how we’ve been able to integrate, develop and be exposed to things we otherwise wouldn’t.”
Lieutenant Andy Pang travelled from Randwick Barracks, NSW, to support the exercise.
“This is the first brigade-level exercise I’ve deployed on since commissioning as an officer in 2022,” Lieutenant Pang said.
“I’ve really enjoyed operating out in the field, being exposed to the brigade-level operations while on exercise, and understanding how signals can contribute to capability and interoperability.
“Being involved in Exercise Rhino Run has enabled me to put doctrine into practice, consolidate my skills and further develop my knowledge.”
144th Signal Squadron also conducted activities aimed at improving communications within the range at Cultana to enhance signals capability for future exercises.
In October 2022, 144th Signal Squadron transitioned from 8th Signal Regiment to 9th Brigade as part of the combat brigade restructure. Since then, the squadron has maintained a close relationship with its former command.